August 2018 In Review
No major road trip this month kept me closer to the TV set and the chance to knock off some of these blu rays and DVDs I’ve got piling up. But then I seem to buy two for every one I watch so it’s not like I’m really gaining any ground. Having said that, I did see some good titles both new and old. Some first timers and plenty of rediscoveries.
On to the movies.
The Power – George Hamilton takes on the topic of telekinesis with a cast of favorites.
Foreign Intrigue – Robert Mitchum dons the overcoat overseas to tangle with ex-Nazi spies.
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
Wonderful film with Meryl Streep as the real life title character who supports the arts during WW2 in New York City. Problem is, she thinks she has a voice destined for the Opera when in fact she can’t sing a lick. Hugh Grant stars as her protective husband who does his best to shield her from the truth until she rents out Carnegie Hall for her first public concert. Comical yes but there’s a dramatic heartbeat to this one and both Streep and Grant are excellent in their given roles. Recommended.
Death Rage – Final film of the way to cool Yul Brynner.
The Reptile – Revisiting a lesser title from the studio that dripped blood, Hammer Films.
Cottage to Let – A new to me gem with John Mills and WW2 spies.
Truthfully I had no idea this film was going to be as violent as it turned out. Ryan Gosling chooses his words carefully and barely speaks throughout this gangland tale that sees him as a getaway driver when called upon. He gets mixed up with some gangsters including Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks that leads to a bloody confrontation. Bryan Cranston is in here also as Ryan’s business associate/friend. Best scene in the movie for me comes when Brooks and Cranston share the screen for what will be the final time for one of them. Well played by two pros. Not for the squeamish but well worth the drive.
Woman Obsessed – Miss Susan Hayward tackles the frontier and Stephen Boyd.
Return From the Sea – Neville Brand plays the romantic silent type. NEVILLE BRAND??????
Friday Foster – The beautiful Pam Grier kicks ass and keeps it sexy.
The Meg (2018)
A night out at the movies with my two sons proved to be fun. While the Jason Statham flick is a CGI filled popcorn summer movie, we had a hoot shooting out lines from Jaws as we watched this one and giggling throughout. Bits like when Statham’s party fish a severed arm out of the water I couldn’t help myself and stated firmly for all within ear shot to hear, “This was no boating accident.” I liked the set up over the first half hour while I’ve heard others picking on it. Reminded me of a Toho production on just how a giant sized shark has come back from extinction. I half expected Green Gargantua to turn up. Another quote I snuck out was when Statham and his gang had a very large shark hanging from the mast after catching it. “The taxidermy man, he gonna have a heart attack when he sees what I brought’em.”
The Cross of Lorraine – WW2 effort with Gene Kelly pitted against Peter Lorre.
Bridge of Spies (2015)
First rate Spielberg film based on a true story. Tom Hanks stars as a lawyer assigned to defend a Russian spy and quickly becomes public enemy number 1 for taking the job. The fix is in from the get go but Hanks will have the last laugh when he convinces the judge to not sentence the spy to death in case he’s ever needed to swap with the Russians for one of their own. Mark Rylance who underplays his role of the convicted spy is excellent here and though he’s the bad guy in the eyes of the public, you can’t help but root for him and Hanks. Spielberg does a great job of twisting your sympathy’s on this one. Recommended.
Paint Your Wagon – Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. Singing stars!
Uncommon Valor – Gene Hackman leads a team of commandos to rescue his son in Vietnam
Cyborg 2087 – Michael Rennie as The Terminator 1960’s style.
Dimension 5 – Jeffrey Hunter gives it the James Bond touch.
The Skeleton Key (2005)
I was a little overdue in catching up to this one. I recall liking the trailer years ago and now I can actually say I liked the film too. Kate Hudson plays a caretaker looking after a bedridden John Hurt while his wife, Gena Rowlands looks on. Voodoo is in the air and a tale of ghosts and murder from years past at a plantation where slaves were hung who taught the dark arts. This one pushed all the right buttons for me and had me fooled till the fadeout though I’ll admit to being gullible. Then it turned a might familiar to those of us who have seen a 70’s thriller that offered a rare starring role to Strother Martin. Ah, who cares, I’d rewatch this one if my two sons offer up the chance after my telling them it’s worth checking out.
White Fang – Brando’s Pick of the Month stars Franco Nero and a dog, what else?
Slumming with Teen Sex Comedies Triple Feature – Starring Christopher Lee and Richard Roundtree!!!!!
Andre the Giant (2018)
Not knowing too much about the giant sized wrestler, I took a chance on this HBO documentary and was quite impressed with it. Plenty of archival footage and loaded with interviews of those who crossed his path in all walks of life. Highly recommended for all including the wrestling fans though they might not like the fact that it pretty much confirms the “sport” is fake.
The Legend of Hell House – Previously featured but had to check out the blu ray edition. I often refer to this one as my favorite haunted house tale.
Sing, You Sinners – I never tire of Bing Crosby classics.
Al Pacino plays it low key in this character study of a lonely almost hermit like locksmith who hasn’t gotten over losing the love of his life years ago. Outside of his cat, he’s wary of others and has a way of hurting those around him which includes his business dealing son, a low life he used to coach in baseball who looks up to him and another lonely soul played by Holly Hunter. She works down at the bank and would like to get to know the gentle Al a little bit better. Pacino is good but I can’t honestly say I’ll watch it again but not sorry I gave it a go either.
The Deadly Bees – Amicus Thriller featuring deadly bees.
Royal Flash – Previously featured but always worth another look with Malcolm McDowell and Oliver Reed.